One of the biggest gripes with the Google Home has been its lack of support for multiple accounts. Living in a house with multiple people meant you either had to share things like calendar and music accounts or get multiple Google Home speakers.
Today, Google fixed that. The Google Home now supports multiple accounts with personalization and neural network voice recognition. In other words, it can recognize who is talking to it and respond with that account’s information.
Here’s how to set it up.
Adding a second account to Google Home
When you open the Google Home app, you should see a notification that says Multi-user is now available. Tap that to get started.
If you don’t see the notification, tap the devices button (an icon of a television and a speaker) in the top right corner. Tap the action overflow button in the top right corner of the card for your Google Home and select Settings. You should find a notification there that also says Multi-user is now available.
You can also get to the voice recognition setup by going to Devices > Settings > More > Shared Devices. Click the plus sign in the bottom right corner to begin multiuser setup.
Tapping one of these notifications will begin the process of teaching Assistant your voice. You must say the phrases “Hey, Google” and “OK, Google” twice each. Tap Continue, then tap Invite if you want to add someone else to the Google Home.
Additional users will need to download the Google Home app and go through the same setup process. But since their accounts might not have already been connected, they will need to link their own music accounts and personalize the Google Home preferences to their liking by customizing news sources, linking their Netflix accounts and tweaking what their My Day updates include.
This also means they will need to add smart home devices to their Assistant accounts, as well. This keeps just anyone from joining your Google Home and being able to control your smart devices.
Up to six accounts can be added to Google Home, and if you want to add multiple accounts from the same device, open the Google Home app and tap the hamburger button in the top left corner to reveal the left menu. Click on one of the additional accounts or tap on the drop-down menu and select Manage accounts to add a new one. After a new account is added or selected, go through the same setup process. Just know that if you teach Assistant the same voice for three different accounts, in our testing, Google Home will respond using the first account that was added with that voice.
You can see all the active accounts on a Google Home by going to Devices > Settings > Linked account(s). There you can remove your account, but you cannot remove other accounts.
Proper multiuser support
Once more than one user is set up on a Google Home speaker, nothing needs to be done to switch between accounts, since Assistant has learned each of the users’ voices.
When one of you says, “Hey, Google, tell me about my day,” your personal calendar and traffic report will be referenced. When you ask to play music, your preference in music service will play by default and you will have access to your personal playlists from Google Play Music, Pandora and Spotify.
This is a stark contrast to the multiple account support offered by Amazon’s Alexa speakers, such as the Echo. Adding multiple profiles to an Alexa speaker doesn’t give users the ability to control their personal calendars or play music from their preferred streaming service. Instead, it simply allows users to share purchased content such as music and audiobooks between all the connected accounts. It also allows users to share lists and a calendar, but that’s about the extent of it.